When you are painting your Concord home or business, you may want to consider using a “green” or environmentally-friendly paint. There are several varieties available today as more people are becoming aware of their impact on the planet.
What makes paint “green”? Most people start with VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds), such as formaldehyde and benzene. While these are a major factor, they are far from the only things to consider in determining the environmental friendliness of a type of paint. Other ingredients that make paint less safe for the environment include biocides (ingredients that kill bacteria, some of which is necessary), vinyl chloride, phthalates, and how biodegradable the paint is. Packaging can also be a factor, as some packaging can be harmful to the environment, as well.
Most major brands offer their own version of “green” paint. Some of the paints being advertised as “green” include Yolo Colorhouse No VOC Paint, Delta Soy Paint, Benjamin Moore Green Promise, Center*Star Thermopel, Real Milk Paint, Sherwin-Williams GreenSure, Behr Premium Plus, and Glidden Brilliance. These are all low- or no-VOCs, and low odor products.
Major paint brands also usually have information available on their official web site that will tell you whether their paint – either all or just one variety – fits in the “environmentally friendly” category. VOC content is the most visible aspect on most of the more eco-friendly varieties, but other components are often mentioned as well.
The federal regulations limit the allowable limit of VOCs to 250 grams per liter (g/l) for flat paints and 380 g/l for others. To be labeled “low VOC,” there must be 50 grams or less per liter, and to be labeled “no VOC,” there must be 5 grams or less. Every brand listed above has a paint that fits in one of these two categories.
Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury occur in some varieties of paint, but most of the paint that is advertised as earth-friendly avoid the use of these elements. Some paint, such as Real Milk Paint, includes pharmaceutical grade lime, which acts as an antibacterial and cures through carbonization, which means that it pulls carbon dioxide from the air while it hardens. It is also naturally fire retardant. These are good qualities that you will want to consider when comparing eco-friendly paints.
Also, if you will be adding tints to the paint, you may want to verify their VOC levels. Sometimes added tints can increase the VOC levels dramatically.
Whichever variety you end up deciding to use, remember that you are welcome to discuss the options, and their pros and cons, with those who are experienced in painting in Concord. They will be able to provide their recommendations for “green” paints.